Catfish Meunière

Fish with Meunière Sauce is one of those dishes you see all over New Orleans, with redfish, trout, catfish, whatever fresh Gulf fish is available. It’s one of the dishes on the combo plate I always pick up at Jazz Fest, So when I returned home, I thought it was about time to try my hand at Meunière Sauce. When I started searching through recipes, however, I realize that maybe there’s a reason I’ve never made it before. The recipes vary widely. One is made with only seafood stock, one with beef stock, and another recommends either beef or veal stock. Some have up to a half cup of Worcestershire sauce, and some have none. The amount of butter in each recipe varies a lot. A couple are made with a roux, one with only a beurre manié to thicken it. One sautés a mirepoix first, a couple just boil the veggies with the stock, and one just skips them altogether. It’s served both with pecans and without.

Ah well, this is the version I came up with for today. I used a combination of shrimp stock because I had a cup of it thawed out, and a half cup of veal stock from a concentrated base to complete the amount needed. I can see where the meat stock would be good, though, giving it that hefty depth I find so appealing in some versions of the sauce. Next time…

Ingredients

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 celery, chopped
1/4 cup carrots, chopped
A few sprigs of parsley
1 small bay leaf
@ 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, cracked
@ 6-8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup stock, either seafood, beef, veal or a combination
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons flour
Worcestershire sauce
4-6 catfish filets (or trout or redfish, etc.)
Creole Seasoning (i.e.Chef Paul’s Seafood Magic)
1/3 cup toasted pecans
Chives for garnishing

Preparation

1. Heat @ 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan until bubbling. Add the vegetables, parsley, bay leaf and peppercorns, and sauté until they are soft.
2. Add the stock and lemon juice to the vegetables and simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. While the stock is simmering, make a roux by heating 2 tablespoons of the butter in a cast iron pan until it’s sizzling, then add the flour whisking continously until the roux is a medium to dark brown.
4. Add the stock to the roux whisking continuously until smooth. Add a few drops of Worcestershire. Whisk in additional butter, if desired.
5. Sprinkle the fish filets liberally with the seasoning. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in sauté pan until sizzling, then add the fish filets 2 at a time. Cook for about 5 minutes on both sides. Then serve sprinkled with toasted pecans, and sauce with the meunière. Garnish with snipped chives, if desired.
Credit: Foodista

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